As I mentioned in yesterday's review of "Men at Work," the broadcast network TV season officially ended last night at 11 p.m. Though there are still a handful of spring shows with episodes yet to air (for my interests, primarily the Sunday shows on AMC and HBO), we're mostly moving into a whole new wave of programming, with the return of old favorites ("Breaking Bad" on July 15), the debut of intriguing newcomers (Sorkin's "The Newsroom" on June 24), and also lots of shows I'm less inclined to cover weekly (a lot of the USA and TNT stuff).
As always in summer, we'll figure it out as we go beyond the obvious weekly candidates. And, as I've been doing in the summer going back to the old blog, we're going to revisit a classic show on DVD. (In addition to the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" season 1 rewatch Dan and I will be doing for the podcast.) This year's choice seemed obvious: following up last summer's "Deadwood" season 1 reviews with a look back at season 2 of the David Milch Western.
The 2011-12 network TV season officially ends tonight at 11, right after the closing credits for "Revenge" and "Law & Order: SVU" have rolled. So for the next few months, the television business goes all "Freaky Friday," as the broadcast networks trot out their secondary programming — reality shows, imports and other low-cost series — while cable breaks out some of its biggest guns.
Tomorrow, for instance, brings the return of "So You Think You Can Dance" to FOX, and the debut of yet another singing competition show, "Duets," on ABC, as well as the third season premiere of ABC's cheap Canadian import cop show "Rookie Blue." Meanwhile, the next couple of months will see the return of HBO's "True Blood" (June 10), USA's "Burn Notice" (June 14), AMC's "Breaking Bad" (July 15) and the final season of TNT's "The Closer" (July 9), along with a whole batch of new shows like TNT's "Dallas" sequel (June 13), Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama "The Newsroom" (June 24) and Charlie Sheen's sitcom comeback with FX's "Anger Management" (June 28).
That's a lot for any TV junkie to keep track of, even in the "slow" summer months. Unfortunately, the off-season gets off to a forgettable start with its first new cable offering: the TBS sitcom "Men at Work," which debuts tomorrow night at 10.
The "Lost" finale aired two years ago tonight. Having already reviewed the finale the night it aired, a month later, and then on the one-year anniversary, I don't have a lot to add on the subject. My opinion remains largely the same — as I said in that anniversary column, some distance from the finale, and seeing what the network TV world was like without "Lost," has made me even more inclined to forgive the show its weaknesses and focus on its strengths — and the sense I get is that everyone else is equally entrenched, whether they liked the finale or found it an insult and a betrayal of the six years they spent watching the show.
So rather than analyze some more, I thought I'd do something simpler, and hopefully more fun, and pick out a collection of some of my favorite scenes from six seasons of "Lost" for you to enjoy if you're feeling similarly nostalgic today. These aren't all of the best scenes ever, or any kind of representative sample; it's just a handful of moments that instantly came to mind when I was recalling how much fun I had watching the adventures of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Hurley and friends over the years. I'm sure you all have your favorites, and if you want to discuss them (or link to them) in the comments, by all means, go for it.
Clips coming up just as soon as I threaten to beat you with my Jesus stick...
A very busy, very long Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week deals with finales, firings, a forgettable new TBS sitcom, a metaphorical Marvel Team-Up between Don Draper and Joan Harris, a more literal Marvel team-up between the members of The Avengers, and the announcement of this week's summer re-watch.
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
The news that Dan Harmon was fired as "Community" showrunner still feels like a cruel joke — like fans of the show wished for a fourth season on a monkey's paw, only to discover that the fourth season would air on Fridays after "Whitney" and not involve the man whose mad genius made "Community" what it was.
Over the weekend, the cast and many of the show's top writers paid homage to Harmon on Twitter, thanking him for the opportunity and fun that came with his creation. We have no idea what the show will look like under new bosses Moses Port and David Guarascio, but they definitely have a tough, if not impossible, act to follow.
Before we move forward on whatever "Community" is about to become, I first wanted to look back at 10 episodes from the Harmon era — not necessarily the 10 best, but 10 that represent the depth, breadth and insanity of what the show was under his watch.
A review of the "House" series finale coming up just as soon as I say that Pascal's Wager is facile...
We've known for a while that the final season of "Breaking Bad" would be made up of 16 episodes, but we didn't know exactly when it would debut, or how AMC would arrange the episodes to maximize their remaining installments of the Emmy-winning drama.
Now we do, as the cable channel announced today that the final season will premiere on Sunday, July 15 at 10 p.m., and that the plan is to air 8 episodes this summer and then the remaining 8 episodes in the summer of 2013.
(As to why they don't just refer to this as two short seasons: it's a contractual issue. Same reason the final 21 episodes of "The Sopranos," which also aired over two years, are considered the show's sixth "season.")
AMC also announced the two shows that will be paired "Breaking Bad" this summer. Starting July 15 at 11 p.m. will be a new unscripted series, "Small Town Security," about a family-owned security company in a small town in Georgia. And starting August 12 at 9 p.m. will be season 2 of "Hell on Wheels." (Which reminds me I still have 2 or 3 episodes of that first season to catch up on.)
And in the meantime, here's Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul on the set of the final season:
A review of tonight's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as you find a way to define those pronouns...
A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as I am from New York, and therefore just naturally interesting...